Black Sand Beach on the Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
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Ultimate Maui Itinerary 5 Days For a Perfect Trip 2024

Are you Looking for the Best Maui 5-day itinerary?

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Maui, now is the perfect time to start planning a five-day adventure! Maui offers much more than just sandy beaches and breathtaking landscapes. We have been traveling to Maui yearly for the past 15 years. I have made this perfect Maui Itinerary 5 days.

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From waterfalls to the best snorkeling spots, some endless activities and destinations will make your stay on Maui memorable.

In this Maui blog post, we break down an itinerary with our favorite places on the island – from must-haves for first-time visitors to hidden gems off the beaten path – so you can create an unforgettable journey through “the Valley Isle.”

Maui Travel Tips

It is important to cover the basics before starting our first full day in Maui. After arriving at the airport, we typically stop at Costco or Safeway to purchase weekly provisions. These include snacks, water, soft drinks, and liquor for our villa.

Additionally, we arrange to rent beach chairs, an umbrella, a cooler, and a wagon for our stay. Are there kids in our group who want to try boogie or paddle boarding? Rentals are available for those as well.

We rent our beach equipment from Auntie Snorkel Lahaina. The equipment is in like-new condition, and their customer service is awesome.

If we don’t have snorkel gear, we rent it from Auntie Snorkel on our first day to enjoy it throughout our trip. By taking care of all these details upon arrival, we can hit the ground running on our first full vacation day and explore all that Maui offers.

Book a Flytographer for Sunset Pictures

Booking a Flytographer session in Maui lets you capture your memories with gorgeous professional photos during sunset.

Choose a scenic spot like Wailea Beach or Kapalua Bay for the best background.

Your photographer will guide you on poses to ensure you look your best in every shot.

These sessions usually take around an hour, providing you with numerous photos to remember your trip.

You’ll get the high-quality finished photos within a few days, perfect for sharing and framing.

It’s a special way to remember your Maui vacation forever.

Lahaina and Upcountry Kula had devastating fires on August 8, 2023. Maui is accepting visitors; be prepared for a different West Maui. Please plan ahead and be kind. The residents have lost a great deal.

Day 1 of Maui Itinerary for 5 Days

Breakfast at the Gazebo

Rise and shine early to enjoy a delectable breakfast at the Gazebo. Although seating is limited, the experience is worth the wait. If the line extends to the top of the steps, expect to wait around 45 minutes before being seated.

A must-try dish is the Macadamia Nut Banana pancakes, accompanied by a serving of fried rice. The fried rice is so good it will leave you longing for more even after leaving Maui. Consider ordering a large portion of fried rice to bring back to your villa as a side dish when grilling fish.

Fried Rice from the Gazebo in Napili, Maui, Hawaii
Macadamia Nut Banana Pancakes at the Gazebo on Maui, Hawaii

Snorkeling at Honolua Bay

If you are staying on the Ka’anapali side of the island, Honolua Bay is an excellent spot for snorkeling. It’s not your typical beach but rather a destination for underwater exploration.

A .6-mile roundtrip access trail takes you through a lush forest with hanging vines and primarily flat trails to get there.

The bay has a rocky shoreline, so bring water shoes if you have delicate feet. When you first enter the water, visibility may not be ideal but don’t worry – keep going. Head towards the right side of the bay, and you’ll come across a beautiful coral reef.

Keep an eye out for turtles, as they’re often spotted here. We love snorkeling at Honolua Bay and highly recommend it as a must-visit spot.

If you want to visit Honolua Bay and would prefer a boat trip instead of entering from shore, consider booking this West Maui snorkel trip from Ka’anapali.

Maui Sea Turtle while snorkeling at Honolua Bay on Maui, Hawaii

Pick up Lunch at The Fish Market Maui

If you’re staying at a villa with a grill, check out The Fish Market Maui. It’s our go-to spot for picking up fresh fish to grill.

We always ask for their freshest catch, and they’re happy to give us tips on preparing it. They also have a selection of spices available for purchase. Don’t forget to try their delicious crab cakes – my favorite!

Suppose grilling is not an option, or you prefer to avoid cooking during your vacation. In that case, a relaxed eatery with limited seating is available, or you can opt for takeout instead.

Grab a Poke Bowl from Napili Market as an alternative

Do you enjoy Poke? If so, consider getting your Poke fix from Napilii Market rather than Maui Fish Market.

This spot is popular among locals for its delicious poke at a very reasonable price. You should try the Spicy or Hawaiian Poke; if you can’t decide, you could always choose a combination.

If some people in your group are not Poke fans, don’t worry – Joey’s Kitchen and Mama’s Ribs & Rotisserie are in the same shopping complex.

Poke options at the local grocery store on Maui, Hawaii

Relax on the Beach after Lunch

Are you looking for a great spot to spend your afternoon? Kapalua Beach and Airport Beach are both excellent choices. Not only do they offer stunning white sand, but they’re also perfect for snorkeling.

Remember to bring your beach chairs, umbrella, and snorkel gear to enjoy these magnificent beaches fully.

Kapalua Beach on Maui, Hawaii should be on your Maui Travel Itinerary

During our stays at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort North, we enjoy the fantastic snorkeling opportunities right before the villas, extending to Airport Beach.

We feel fortunate to have easy access to such stunning sealife and a gorgeous beach without having to venture too far.

Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas North view of the pool and the ocean from Building 6.

Enjoy the beautiful Maui Sunset

Take a moment to unwind on the sandy shores of Maui and witness the breathtaking sunset. Watch for a stunning green flash as the sun dips below the horizon. It’s sure to be a sunset you’ll never forget.

Maui Sunset over the ocean with palm trees and beautiful orange, pink and yellows.

Have Dinner at Monkeypod

If you’re looking for a great dinner spot, I highly recommend checking out MonkeyPod at Whaler’s Village. They make some of the best Mai Tais on the island, and their No Ka ‘Oi drink is also our favorite.

Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on trying the Pumpkin Patch ravioli—it’s not a typical Maui dish, but it’s amazing. The Truffle Oil Garlic fries are another must-try appetizer. For your main course, we recommend the delicious Hamakua Wild Mushroom and Truffle Oil Pizza.

If you still have room for dessert, the Banana or Strawberry cream pie are both delicious! Monkeypod is one of our favorite Maui restaurants, and we usually visit multiple times during our stays.

Wild Mushroom and Truffle Pizza from MonkeyPod restaurant on Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Day 2 of Maui Travel Itinerary for 5 Days

Discover the Wonder of Haleakala National Park

Discover the wonders of Haleakala National Park, where you can bask in the beauty of the Haleakala crater, witness an incredible sunrise or sunset, and embark on a scenic hike.

If catching the sunrise at Haleakala is a must-do, we suggest swapping Day 1 with Day 2 to allow you to take advantage of the time difference.

Keep in mind that tickets must be purchased in advance for sunrise viewing.

If you choose to do sunrise, you may want to consider doing this Haleakala Sunrise tour with Breakfast. Another fun and very popular option is biking in Haleakala. If you choose to do the biking tour, be cautious, and we don’t recommend it if you haven’t ridden a bike in years.

We prefer to ease into our Maui vacation and suggest saving this activity for Day 2. However, if you plan to explore the park during the day or catch the sunset, there’s no need to worry about purchasing park tickets ahead of time.

Bring a jacket and dress appropriately, as it is much colder at the summit.

Haleakala National Park at Maui, Hawaii looks like you are on another planet.

Explore the Upcountry of Maui.  There are so many options for exploring, depending on your interest.

Explore the Kula Botanical Gardens.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking and serene place to explore in Maui, the Kula Botanical Gardens must be on your list.

Situated on the slopes of Haleakala, this 8-acre garden is filled with various tropical flora worth visiting. From orchids and bromeliads to native trees and succulents, the Kula Botanical Gardens have a diverse range of plants that will give you an appreciation for Maui’s natural beauty.

The garden offers stunning views of the island and the Pacific Ocean, making it a great photo-op spot.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience the next time you’re looking for what to see on Maui.

Tour a local farm such as the Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm or O’o Farm

If you’re looking for a unique and authentic experience on Maui, consider touring a local farm like Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm or O’o Farm. Both farms offer guided tours that allow you to explore their beautiful grounds and learn about sustainable farming practices.

At Ali’i Kula, you’ll be surrounded by acres of lavender fields and may even be lucky to glimpse their resident peacocks roaming about. Meanwhile, O’o Farm offers a hands-on experience where you can pick organic produce from the garden and enjoy a farm-to-table lunch.

Whichever farm you visit, you will see a different side of Maui and support local agriculture. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn about the local farming industry.

Upcountry Lunch Options

There are many options for eating upcountry on Maui. However, if you’re looking for a meal with a view and a taste of local flavor, consider stopping at the O’o farm, Ulupalakua Ranch Store Grill, Kula Bistro, or Hali’imaile General Store for lunch.

Each venue offers a personalized experience that showcases different aspects of the island. At the O’o farm, you can indulge in a farm-to-table lunch experience surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views.

At the same time, Ulupalakua Ranch Store Grill serves unique juicy burgers and sandwiches alongside its famed Maui views.

Kula Bistro offers a bakery with delightful desserts and large-portion dishes that emphasize the unique flavors of the island, and Hali’imaile General Store serves Hawaiian comfort food elevated with a modern twist.

Each spot offers a unique look at what makes Maui’s food and drink scene so special.

Maui Wine Tasting Room and its’ picturesque vineyard, Ulupalakua ranch

If you are looking for a unique tasting experience on Maui, look no further than Maui Wine‘s tasting room. The picturesque Ulupalakua Ranch vineyard offers stunning views of the verdant rolling hills and is the perfect place to sit and relax with a glass of wine.

The winery produces various wines, including pineapple wine, which is not to be missed. Take a vineyard tour and learn about the ranch’s history and how the wines are made.

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just looking for something fun and different to do on Maui, the Maui Wine tasting room is worth a visit.

Maui wine  pineapple flight tasting.

Take a Tour of Ocean Vodka Organic Farm & Distillery

If you plan a trip to Maui, a stop should be on any vodka lover’s agenda: Maui Ocean Vodka. Not only is their vodka made with deep ocean mineral water and organic sugar cane, but their facility offers a stunning view of the island that should not be missed.

Take a tour of the distillery to learn about its sustainable practices and unique distillation process, then head to the tasting room to try its award-winning spirits.

When you’re done, remember to take a bottle home as a souvenir—their distinctive round blue glass bottles will stand out on any bar cart.

Maui Ocean Vodka is a must-see attraction for any traveler exploring the island’s unique offerings. Make reservations for this in advance as it is very popular.

Ocean Vodka on Maui with sugar cane and rainbow

Sunset at Ocean Vodka

If you plan on spending the whole day experiencing Upcountry, consider visiting Ocean Vodka at the end of your day. They have a picturesque setting where you can enjoy the sunset.

Their spacious lawn has picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, perfect for a casual outing to view the sunset. Enjoy the live music with their delicious menu and craft cocktails.

Ocean Vodka has breathtaking views with the sunset over the West Maui Mountains. which is truly breathtaking.

orange yellow sunset at ocean vodka maui with palm trees in the background, picnic tables and music

Hike the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Maui’s natural beauty, you won’t miss the chance to hike the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area. Located in Upcountry Maui, this hidden gem boasts stunning panoramic views of the island, including the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai.

As you trek through the lush forests and explore the volcanic landscapes, you’ll encounter an array of native flora and fauna, including towering evergreens and colorful wildflowers.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a stroll with family and friends, this is a must-see destination on your list of what to see on Maui.

Consider taking this Private Upcountry tour, which is an 8-hour tour of Upcountry, including Kula and Makawao.

Makawao for its local art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

If you’re looking for a charming town to visit in Maui, Makawao should be at the top of your list. With its quaint streets lined with local art galleries, unique shops, and delicious restaurants,

Makawao offers visitors a taste of the island beyond typical tourist attractions. Whether you’re interested in perusing local artwork, shopping for one-of-a-kind items, or indulging in some mouth-watering cuisine, Makawao has something for everyone.

Stroll through this picturesque town, and you’ll surely find some hidden gems that will make your Maui vacation all the more memorable.

Surfing Goat Dairy for some goat cheese

If you’re a cheese lover and visiting Maui, visiting Surfing Goat Dairy is a must. Located in beautiful upcountry Maui, this family-owned dairy farm has produced some of the freshest and tastiest goat cheese for over a decade.

Take a farm tour and meet the friendly goats who call this place home. Watch the cheesemakers create signature flavors like mango, garlic, and truffle. After your tour, sample some delicious goat cheese and purchase some as a tasty souvenir. A visit to Surfing Goat Dairy is a unique and delicious addition to any Maui itinerary.

Goat cheese sampling at the Surfing Goat in Upcountry Maui

Consider booking this Private Farm Tour, a private tour of three upcountry farms.

Are you feeling tired? Upcountry offers many activities that are difficult to fit into just one day. Despite visiting Maui annually for the past 15 years, we are continually amazed by the new restaurants and activities we discover. This is one of the many reasons we adore Maui so much.

Day 3 of Maui Itinerary for 5 days

Lahaina Banyan Tree Park on Maui, Hawaii

Whale Watching or Snorkel Trip

If you are visiting between December and April, schedule a whale-watching trip. This is one of the main reasons we love to travel to Maui in February and March. These animals are magnificent, and the warm, shallow waters are where they come to breed and birth their babies.

There are many options for whale-watching tours. Depending on your interests, you can combine the tour with snorkeling or just watch. We highly recommend Captain Steve’s Rafting.

If you are not traveling during Whale Season, we recommend Captain Steve’s Rafting snorkel tour or a Molokini Snorkel trip.

Maui green sea turtle swimming in the ocean
green sea turtle swimming in ocean sea

There are so many wonderful restaurants in the Lahaina area. I have an entire blog post for Best Breakfast in Lahaina & Ka’anapali, Maui, and Best Ka’anapali Restaurants for Ocean View Dining Guide 2024

Lunch at Whaler’s Village

After a morning on the ocean, head to Whaler’s Village for Lunch. Several great restaurants exist at Whaler’s Village, such as Hula Grill or Leilani’s, which are great for an ocean view. Joey’s Kitchen is located on the lower level for something more casual.

After lunch, walk around Whaler’s Village to shop.

Have Shave Ice for Dessert

Do you want dessert after lunch? Try either shave ice at Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice.

There are several Ululani’s Shave Ice shops around the Island. I highly recommend trying a shave ice from Ululani’s before you leave Maui.

After a satisfying lunch, a dessert is the perfect way to finish it.

Ululani’s has been voted the best shave ice on the island for years. They use premium syrups and real fruit purees to make their fluffy shave ice. My personal favorite Ululani’s treat is Sunset Beach shave ice over Macadamia Nut Ice Cream and a snowcap topper.

Shave Ice from Ululani's Shave Ice from Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Attend a traditional Hawaiian Luau

When looking for something to see on Maui, there’s nothing quite like experiencing a luau. The Old Lahaina Luau offers a full evening of entertainment, traditional Hawaiian cuisine, and unforgettable cultural experiences.

At the Old Lahaina Luau, you’ll begin with a lei greeting and be transported back to when islanders gathered for special events. Each meal course, from kalua pork to haupia pudding, is expertly prepared and served along with hula dancers and live music, with the ocean as the backdrop.

Old Lahaina Luau hula dancers on Maui, Hawaii

There are many other options for luaus on Maui, depending on your price range and where you stay. Another great choice is the Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton Resort.

Feast of Lele hula dances on the stage on Maui, Hawaii

Day 4 of Maui Itinerary for 5 Days

Discover the beauty of the Road to Hana

Embark on a thrilling journey along the winding Road to Hana, where you’ll discover breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforests. With so many sights to see, it’s hard to cover everything in detail.

But be warned, if you stop at every recommended location, you may not make it to Hana before nightfall. My post on the Road to Hana has the must-stop locations for a perfect day trip.

To enhance your experience, use the Maui Revealed book and the Shaka app, which offers an audio tour of the Road to Hana; we prefer to drive straight through and stop at sights on the way back to Lahaina.

For a delectable lunch, we recommend visiting Thai Food from Pranee. Another favorite place that we like to stop for lunch is Huli Huli Chicken. We happened upon this open-air stand off the Road to Hana over a decade ago, and it’s been a must-stop for us ever since.

If you plan to visit the Honokalani Black Sand Beach, reservations are required to enter Waianapanapa State Park.

Visit Ho’okipa Beach to see Turtles.

If you plan a trip to Maui, you won’t want to miss Ho’okipa Beach. This little gem is a great place to see sea turtles sunbathing on the shore, and the views are stunning.

It’s the perfect spot to stop back from a long day of exploring the Road to Hana or at the start of your journey to soak in the island’s beauty.

If you’re lucky, you might even glimpse some windsurfers or surfers riding the waves. So put on your sunscreen and grab your camera. Ho’okipa Beach is a must-see for what to see on Maui.

Ho'okipa Beach turtle sunning on the beach.

Are you not interested in doing the drive yourself?  I don’t blame you; the roads are narrow and winding. Being a passenger and taking in the gorgeous sights is much easier. Click here for the Best Road to Hana tour.

Plan on Dinner in Paia

If you’ve spent a long day traveling the Road to Hana, I highly suggest grabbing dinner at Paia Fish Market or the Flatbread Company.

Are you looking to experience Maui’s charm while indulging in some retail therapy? Look no further than Paia!

This picturesque town perfectly blends souvenir shopping and stunning Hawaiian artwork displays. Whether you’re in the mood for leisurely window shopping or eager to find that perfect gift for someone special, Paia is a must-visit destination.

Mama’s Fish Market is my top recommendation for those seeking a more upscale dining experience in the area. Having traveled extensively and dined at many exceptional restaurants, Mama’s is truly the best. However, make reservations well in advance – I’ve already secured ours nine months in advance.

The Entrance to Mama's Fish House in Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Day 5 of Maui Itinerary for 5 Days

Start with a hearty breakfast from Nalu’s South Shore Grill in Kihei

When starting your day in Kihei, you can’t go wrong with breakfast at Nalu’s South Shore Grill. This cozy cafe offers a delightful array of breakfast dishes that will leave you satisfied and ready to take on whatever your day holds.

From fluffy pancakes to savory omelets, there is something for everyone on the menu. Nalu’s is located in the heart of Kihei, making it a great pit stop before exploring all the amazing sights and attractions Maui offers.

Explore Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach and Oneloa.

Regarding what to see on Maui, the sea turtles at Makena Beach should be on your list. There’s something truly awe-inspiring about watching these gentle giants spend their sweet time lounging on the golden sand. You can’t help but feel a sense of privilege and respect as you observe them up close.

And even better, the crystal clear waters of Makena provide a great opportunity for you to join these majestic creatures in their natural habitat for a swim or snorkel, provided you keep a respectful distance, of course!

Makena Beach is 1.5 miles long and 100 yards wide and has gorgeous fine white sand. Because of its size, it usually doesn’t feel overcrowded. It is part of Makena State Park. Little Beach is just North of Big Beach. It is much smaller, at 660 feet long, and more secluded but crowded. Little Beach is also known as Pu’u Olai Beach.

Another beach part of the Makena State Park is the black sand beach, One’uli, also known as Naupaka Beach. The unique black sand is made of lava rock, unlike typical beach sand made of ground coral and shells.

Ocean Kayaking and snorkeling

Are you looking for an adventure more exciting than just lounging on the beach? Consider going on an ocean kayaking trip. This stunning and unspoiled coastline is home to Hawaiian green sea turtles, and kayaking is an excellent way to get a close-up view of these gentle giants.

As you paddle through the crystal-clear waters, watch for vibrant schools of tropical fish and colorful coral reefs. It’s a breathtaking sight that makes you feel like you are floating in an underwater paradise.

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a first-timer, this adventure is informative and interactive, so add it to your Maui itinerary. It’s a unique experience that will create memories that will stay with you forever.

Swimming turtle in the Maui, Hawaii

Lunch near Kihei at Maui Brewing Company

When it comes to grabbing lunch in South Maui, there are many options to choose from- but one spot that shouldn’t be missed is Maui Brewery in Kihei. Not only do they serve up delicious burgers and fries, but their selection of craft beers is top-notch.

Plus, the atmosphere is always fun and laid-back. Maui Brewery offers a rotating selection of house-made beers, such as their popular Bikini Blonde Lager and Big Swell IPA. Don’t forget to ask your server for recommendations on which beer will pair best with your meal.

Beer flight at Maui Brewing and a craft cocktail.

But if you’re looking for a quick and tasty bite with some great local flavor, Coconuts in Kihei is a great spot. With an expansive menu ranging from poke bowls to fish tacos, there’s something for everyone.

The outdoor seating area is also perfect for soaking up some sun while you eat. Maui Brewery and Coconuts offer a taste of the island you won’t want to miss.

Coconuts fish tacos, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Sunset sail. End your stay with an unforgettable sunset cruise to marvel at Maui’s beauty.

As your Maui vacation draws close, there’s no better way to bid farewell than with a sunset sail across the ocean. Sea Maui offers some of the best sunset cruises on the island.

As you sail into the distance, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Maui’s stunning coastline and the vibrant colors only a Maui sunset can provide.

Take in the fresh ocean breeze, unwind, and let the beauty of Maui surround you. It’s the perfect way to end your trip and create unforgettable memories that will stay with you long after you return home.

Maui Rainbow on the Pacific Ocean

Final Thoughts on 5 Day Maui Travel Itinerary

In conclusion, a 5 day Maui travel itinerary is the perfect way to experience all that this breathtaking island has to offer. From driving along the stunning Road to Hana to exploring the scenic Upcountry and witnessing the majestic Haleakala, your days will be filled with adventure and wonder. And what better way to top off your stay in Maui than attending a traditional Luau, where you can immerse yourself in the rich Hawaiian culture and cuisine? It’s safe to say that these are just some of our top choices for an unforgettable trip to Maui.

Have more time on Maui than 5 days? Check out our 10 Day Maui Itinerary

Our Trusted Resources for booking accommodations

Fare Drop: for finding the best airfare deals.

Viator or Get Your Guide: for all my activities

Discover Cars: for car rentals

Airalo: for eSIM card

Trainline: for booking train tickets

Vuori & prAna: great sources for travel clothes

Columbia: great clothes and accessories for outdoor adventures.

International Drivers Permit: for getting your IDP

Travelex: for Travel Insurance

More Maui tips?

Go Grab Life, and don’t forget always to wear sunscreen!

Happy Exploring!

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